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Prohibition History

               Prohibition History Film Clips

Prohibition and the High Seas (Time Magazine, 1923)

- from Amazon:

"The Supreme Court ruled, by [a] vote of 7 to 2, that liquor is legal on U.S. ships outside the three-mile limit... The 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act apply only to actual United States territory."


The ''Popularity'' of Prohibition (Reader's Digest, 1923)

It is said that the Eighteenth Amendment would never have come into being without the efforts of one Wayne Bidwel Wheeler (1869 1927), and who are we to doubt it. In this column, the father of Prohibition recalls the numerous times throughout American history in which those who held minority opinions bit the bullet and acquiesced to will of the majority - all but one faction, "the liquor interests". Time and again, he points out, this was the one tribe that wouldn't budge.


The Treasury Department Steps Up (Time Magazine, 1923)

As 1923 was winding to a close, President Coolidge's Treasury agents were targeted to receive over $28,000,000.00 in equipment and personnel to enforce the Eighteenth Amendment.


Prohibition - Chicago Style (The Chicagoan, 1927)

By 1927 it was common knowledge to every Chicago-based journalist that any reporter who wrote truthfully or seemed in any way outraged by the business practices of Al Capone - and others of his ilk, was likely to be found face down in Lake Michigan. The writer who penned this piece probably had that fact in mind while sitting at the typewriter; it is not an apology for the Chicago gangsters, it simply implies that they are established, the police are complicit - so get used to it. The writer then begins to explain how the bootlegging and distribution business operated - some of the up-and-coming hoods of the day must have been gratified to read that there was plenty of room for advancement within each organization.

Click here to see a chart indicating the decreased murder rate following the repeal of Prohibition.

A history of Chicago vaudeville can be read here...


The Most Rebellious State (The Literary Digest, 1921)

A 1921 report on the state that would not go dry: New York.

"When New York wants Prohibition it will have it. So long as New York doesn't want Prohibition there will be wholesale lawbreaking to avoid it." - The New York World


The Anti-Saloon League Convenes (Time Magazine, 1923)

During the summer of 1923, 40 state superintendents of the Anti-Saloon League convened in Westerville, Ohio in order that they might assess the changes wrought by Prohibition and draw-up plans for the coming year.

"On comparing notes, they agreed that the Atlantic states are not more than 50% dry and the country as a whole not more than 70% dry..."


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